IndyCar Driver Review: Charlie Kimball

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As MotorSportsTalk continues its 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series driver-by-driver review, 14th was Charlie Kimball, who wasn’t able to mirror his breakout 2013 campaign.

2014 SEASON PREVIEW

Charlie Kimball

  • Team: Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing
  • 2013: 9th Place, 1 Win, Best Start 4th, 2 Podiums, 3 Top-5, 10 Top-10, 80 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.9 Avg. Finish
  • 2014: 14th Place, Best Finish 3rd, Best Start 6th, 1 Podium, 4 Top-5, 10 Top-10, 0 Laps Led, 16.3 Avg. Start, 12.6 Avg. Finish

This was an odd year for Charlie Kimball. It was better on the whole than his first two seasons, yet failed to recapture the heights of his breakout 2013 campaign, when he ended ninth and ahead of Dario Franchitti in the championship.

One of the glaring weaknesses in 2014 was that Kimball suffered a drastic qualifying dropoff. A 12.8 grid average in 2013 fell to a 16.3 mark this year, and as such, left him more work to do on race days. He had flashes and occasional consistency in the first half of the year through Houston, with three top-five and six top-10 finishes. The last eight races only produced one top-five and none of the same heroics we’d seen him deliver on occasion.

The passion of frustration was really only evident at Long Beach, when he’d posted a barnburner drive from 19th up to sixth before a mechanical failure. It was a year that would have been better had it been Josef Newgarden-esque, on a single-car team, rather than as one of four Chip Ganassi Racing entries.